Airbus 3rd-quarter earnings grow despite supply chain woes

TOULOUSE, France (AP) — Airbus reported Friday that earnings grew in the third quarter and revenue rose through the first nine months of 2022 as it benefited from a strong U.S. dollar despite supply chain issues.

The Toulouse, France-based company said it has delivered 437 commercial aircraft so far this year and is maintaining its outlook to deliver about 700 through the end of 2022.

CEO Guillaume Faury cited a “complex operating environment” even as profit surged 64% in the July-September period, to 634 million euros ($630 million) from 385 million euros in the same three months of 2021.

“The supply chain remains fragile resulting from the cumulative impact of COVID, the war in Ukraine, energy supply issues and constrained labor markets,” Faury said in a prepared statement. But he pointed to benefits from “our strong focus on cash flow” and the U.S. dollar strengthening in value against the euro.

Profit for the first nine months of the year shrank 4%, to 2.48 billion euros. It follows Airbus’ net income plunging in the second quarter, leading the company to scale back production targets.

Revenue so far this year rose to 38.1 billion euros from 35.15 billion euros in the first nine months of 2021. Airbus said the growth largely reflected a higher number of deliveries and the the strong dollar.

Despite higher earnings, Airbus faces big challenges.

A trial began this month against the plane manufacturer and Air France on charges of manslaughter over a 2009 crash that killed 228 people on a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris. The companies, which say they are not criminally responsible for the crash, face potential fines of up to 225,000 euros. That is a fraction of their annual revenue, but they could see damage to their reputations if found criminally responsible.

This week, Airbus rival Boeing reported a surprising $3.3 billion loss for the third quarter as revenue fell short of expectations and it took huge losses for fixed-cost government programs including new Air Force One presidential jets.

Boeing blamed higher manufacturing and supply chain costs for driving the losses in government programs.

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